Photo courtesy of Paul Bradbury/237/Ocean/Corbis Image by: Photo courtesy of Paul Bradbury/237/Ocean/Corbis
|This story was originally titled "Higher Learning" in the September 2014 issue.|
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Prop styling by Jeanie Lee/Plutino Group Image by: Daniel Harrison
A well-stocked tote goes beyond basics with gear and gadgets to ensure that you're always workout-ready.
The bag: Resolute Gym Duffel, $69, mec.ca.
Get a grip: Carry it by the padded handles or use the removable shoulder strap to lug it hands-free.
Pockets aplenty: Multiple interior and exterior slots in various sizes neatly store essentials.
Durable coating: Waterproof bottom and side panels let you set it down in wet conditions.
Water-resistant lining: Stash damp towels and workout clothes in the interior.
Hang tight: Secure a yoga mat with adjustable side buckles.
Sneaker sidekick: Stow runners in their own cubby.
GYM BAG ESSENTIALS
1. Toe the line
Moisture-wicking fabric keeps feet dry. InStance Fusion RunLite socks, $20, blacktoerunning.com.
2. Tune up
This handy smartphone holder adjusts to bigger or smaller arms. Nike women's distance armband, $45, blacktoerunning.com.
3. Dry run
A quick-drying hair towel is a gym bag must-have. Aquis Lisse Luxe hair towel, $36, sephora.ca.
4. Bundle of energy
Refuel with a natural endurance booster. Endurance Tap Energy Gel, $3.50, sportchek.ca.
5. Lend a hand
Grip and lift sans calluses with machine-washable gloves. Freedom gloves, $45, propsathletics.com.
6. All tied up
Topknots and ponytails stay put with reinforced silicone grips. Scünci No Slip silicone elastics, $7 per pack of 18, rexall.ca.
Add ice and your choice of flavouring to the built-in caddy. Flavour-It-2-Go water bottle, $15, indigo.ca.
8. Body armour
Ward off blisters and chafing. Bodyglide for Her Anti-Blister Stick, $7 per pack of three, sportchek.ca.
9. With the band
A silicone strip keeps this hair band in place. Scünci No Slip honeycomb-textured head wrap, $11, rexall.ca.
10. Undercover undies
After hot yoga, you'll need a fresh ready-to-wear pair. Cheeki Sleekini Bikini underwear, $16, cheekibrand.com.
11. Good scents
Soothe muscle aches with this blend of rosemary and marjoram essential oils. Saje Pain Release analgesic remedy, $24, saje.com.
12. On the ball
Drop these odour-blocking balls into runners to stop stink in its tracks. Diadora Odour-Away scented balls, $6 per pair, sportchek.ca.
13. Spritz away
When you're short on time, dry shampoo is your BFF. Batiste Dry Shampoo in Clean & Classic Original, $6.50, rexall.ca.
14. All ears
Opt for sweat-proof buds that promise to stay put. Yurbuds Inspire 100 earphones, $30, blacktoerunning.com.
Our editors share their best health tips.
The magic number
You already know skimping on sleep is bad for you, but were you aware sleeping too much is no good, either? According to Harvard University's Nurses Health Study, women who slept too little (five hours or less) or too much (nine hours or more) scored lower on brain and memory tests and, by researchers' estimates, were mentally two years older than those who slept for seven to eight hours a night.
If you have a serious sweet tooth that's always getting you into (dietary) trouble, try to follow this very simple healthy-eating rule: Save the calories for the really good stuff. It's worth indulging in a favourite dessert or a special treat, but if you're feeling tempted to snack on something just because it's there, skip it.
To replenish your sodium levels after an intense workout—think hot yoga or a long run—add a pinch of salt to a glass of water.
Tools of the trade
Three must-have items for your healthiest year yet.
1. Skipping rope Even a short skipping session can deliver major cardio benefits. Plus, a jump rope is inexpensive, easy to use and—dare we say it—kinda fun.
2. Mini blender Prep a smoothie the night before, give it a quick whirl in the morning and dash out the door, healthy breakfast in hand. Single-serve blender, $27, hamiltonbeach.ca.
3. Sports bra No one wants to exercise without the right support. A good sports bra will feel snugger than your regular bra, but it shouldn't cause chafing. If you're big-busted, look for one that comes in actual bra sizes.
The hardest part of exercising is getting started. So when you don't want to head to the gym, make a 10-minute commitment to being active. If you want to stop after your time is up, that's fine—at least you'll have done something. But it's more likely you'll end up finishing your workout! — Kathleen Trotter, personal trainer
Research shows deep breathing reduces your heart rate and blood pressure, relieves stress and can even boost productivity. But those studies say we're all really bad at breathing properly. To do it right, try a free app like Breathing Zone (iOS) or Paced Breathing (Android). Or go the wearable route; new Fitbits and Apple Watches have built-in apps.